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JHB School Newsletter

Dear Parents and Students,

It’s December already! And the holidays are gearing up with fierce intensity and a sense of panic for some as we wonder, “Did I forget anything? Worse yet, any ONE? What do I need to do, buy, or coordinate to make the holiday season perfect? Why can’t I remember anything even when I write it down? Where is that list?”

We’ve all felt it… the holiday hustle and bustle. Where is the calm, the joy, the magical moments we see in those old movies? Frankly, it is there in our “White Space.” Those moments where you simply sit, calm, and allow your brain to stop and do its thing. I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Juliet Funt, Allan Funt’s daughter, speak about White Space “The time and thought for which we have no plans.” It is a “freedom experience for the mind” that allows us to be calm, “confident, patient and present.”

Think about that. Could we use a little more calm in our day, be a bit more confident and patient? More importantly, could we, and those around us benefit from being totally present in the moment? How could this change our attitudes, our minds, and our hearts? Would we focus on the important aspects of our lives or the minutia that creeps in when we have lost the time to stop and simply think?

Think about the amount of time we “book” in our lives. We fill our calendars with meetings, to do lists, appointments, games, practices, classes…the list is endless and takes up every waking and often sleeping moment of our lives. Worse yet, when we do take a breath we often feel guilty we are not “doing something.” Yet, those are the moments when clarity and visionary ideas are sparked.

Now, think about that for a moment in relationship to our children. What could they achieve if given moments to stop and simply think to “question assumptions, make room for big ideas, synthesize data, and connect the dots.” Would that be “real learning”? Would children hold on to concepts and generate ideas of their own? I am sure it is a pretty powerful tool to teach our students to truly become thinkers, questioners and spark creativity.

In closing, I guess there is one more gift we can give to our families, coworkers, and ourselves … permission to stop and do nothing for moments at a time free of guilt! Try it. I have a feeling we will all be better people for it.

Wishing You White Space and Joyful Holidays,

Dr. Nancy Reynolds

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